#PokeNOM: A Night & Morning in Paras

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As you might already know from following the blog, my geeky food blogger friends on the group Fandom Foodies and I are coming up with and posting Pokémon-inspired recipes using the hashtag #PokeNOM.

I would be lying to myself if I said PokémonGO was not primarily responsible for the idea. Can you blame me? Thanks to this fun little game, I’m getting more sun and exercise. My energy levels are up. I’m fitting into my clothes a lot better. Best of all, I’m spending more active time with my husband on late night Pokemon hunts exploring the neighborhood.

The spontaneity of it all is sort of romantic: walking together under the stars to take over the “Little Free Library” Gym for Team Mystic, hitting up the Pokestops multiple times around the nature center, and discovering parks we had never known about until the promise of a dratini or psyduck lured us there.

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Though I might have a bit of a one-track mind…

With this in mind, I wanted to do a Pokémon version of one of our favorite date night meals: Steamed Snow Crab Legs with Cheddar Biscuits and Melted Butter. Early in our five-year and still running relationship, we’d hit up Red Lobster on a whim for this meal, and then extract whatever leftovers we could for crabby eggs benedict in the morning. I called it the perfect third-date meal.

So what could be romantic than a trip to Paras?

…Ok, I know. You want to slap me for the pun. Paras is actually supposed to be a grass-type insect Pokemon with medicinal mushrooms growing on its back. Bear with me and suspend your disbelief for a moment. Do it for the tastiness of it all.

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And would you rather I cooked a cockroach? I didn’t think so…

 

I decided to create an Asian-fusion take on the classic. To start us off for dinner, I sauteed shiitake mushrooms in some soy sauce and sake, then mixed them into some biscuit batter with cheddar cheese and Chinese 5-spice powder. This is the first time I’ve cooked with these ‘shrooms and I have to say that I’m in love. They are meaty and flavorful, even raw. I had to keep myself from snacking them with leftover slabs of mozzarella from my last recipe post.

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To accompany pillowy pockets of umami, I steamed snow crab legs in a pot with sake, and served everything up with some melted butter mixed with lemongrass paste. The lemongrass gives it a nice citrus flavor, as well as pays homage to Paras’s grass-type nature.

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Make sure to save up some leftover biscuits, mushrooms, and crab for breakfast the following morning, though! The Paras Benedict I made consists of biscuits piled with mushrooms, crab meat, and poached eggs, and then smothered with fresh hollandaise made with lemongrass, mirin, and rice vinegar.

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So have someone special you would like to hunt and eat the errant Paras with? We have you covered and smothered with sake and hollandaise.

Steamed Paras Legs with Shiitake-Cheddar Biscuits

Serves 2
Equipment: small skillet or frying pan, pastry brush, microwave, stockpot with lid, steamer basket, stovetop, oven, baking sheets, aluminum foil.

Ingredients

  • 3/4 cup sake
  • 2 pounds frozen snow crab leg clusters
  • 1 stick unsalted butter
  • 1 teaspoon lemongrass paste
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt

Biscuits:

  • 2 cups all purpose flour
  • 1 tablespoon baking powder
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 3 teaspoons Chinese 5-spice powder
  • 2 teaspoons garlic powder
  • 3 cups sliced shiitake mushrooms
  • cooking oil
  • splash soy sauce
  • splash sake
  • 3 tablespoons cold, unsalted butter
  • 1 1/2 cup shredded sharp cheddar cheese
  • 1 cup milk
  • cooking spray
  • 1/4 cup melted butter

Instructions

Start making the biscuits:

  1. Preheat the oven to 450° F.
  2. Mix together flour, baking powder, 1 teaspoon salt, 1 teaspoon garlic powder, and 2 teaspoons five spice powder. Set aside.
  3. Saute mushrooms in the skillet with some cooking oil, a splash of sake, and a splash of soy sauce. Reserve a quarter of the cooked mushrooms in a tupperware for breakfast the following morning. Dice and then mix the remaining mushrooms in the flour mix.
  4. Cut the cold butter into small, 1/4-1/2 inch cubes and gradually mix into the flour, stir in the cheese, and then the milk until fully incorporated.
  5. Cover a baking sheet with aluminum foil and spray with cooking spray. Scoop generous portions of the batter onto the sheet with a soup spoon.
  6. Bake in preheated oven for 11 minutes.
  7. Melt the remaining butter in the microwave at 15-second intervals. Stir in the remaining garlic, five spice powder, and salt. Brush the mix onto the biscuits as soon as they come out of the oven. Allow to cool while preparing the crab.

Make the crab:
Pour the sake into the stock pot and place the steamer basket inside. Put the crab legs into the pot and cover with the lid. Heat on the stovetop on medium low heat and let steam for 15 minutes before removing from heat.

Make the lemongrass butter:
Microwave the butter in a measuring cup for 15 second increments. When melted, stir in the lemongrass and salt and microwave another 15 seconds.

Assemble and serve: Arrange 2-3 biscuits, 1 leg-claw cluster, and a dish of lemongrass butter on each plate. Reserve at least 4 biscuits and the remaining crab for breakfast.


Paras Benedict with Lemongrass-Mirin Hollandaise

Serves 2
Equipment: small saucepan, whisk, shallow dish, slotted spoon, microwave, immersion or regular blender, measuring cup.

Ingredients

  • 4 five-spice cheddar biscuits
  • 1 cup crab meat extracted from leftover legs
  • cooked shiitake mushroooms
  • 4 eggs
  • 3 egg yolks
  • mirin
  • rice vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon lemongrass paste
  • pinch kosher salt
  • 1 stick unsalted butter

Instructions

  1. Place two biscuits side by side on each plate, distribute some crab and mushrooms on each one in the shape of of a shallow nest.
  2. Fill saucepan with an inch or two of water. Bring to a slow simmer over medium low heat. Add a splash of mirin and rice vinegar.
  3. Heat one of the plates of biscuits in the microwave for about 45 seconds to a minute and leave the door closed. Crack an egg into a shallow dish.
  4. Whisk the water into a vortex and slide the egg into it. Continue stirring the water around the egg using a regular spoon. When the edges have set, continue to stir and baste the egg with water intermittently. After cooking 3 minutes total (to your preference), remove the egg with a slotted spoon. Remove the plate from the microwave and carefully nestle the egg onto one of the biscuits. Poach another egg for the other biscuit, then repeat the whole process with the other plate.
  5. Blend your egg yolks, lemongrass paste, salt, 1/2 tablespoon mirin, and 1/2 tablespoon rice vinegar for a few seconds in the blender container. Heat up measuring cup with the butter in 10-15 second increments until bubbling. Turn the blender on and pour the hot butter into the egg yolk mix until it is completely mixed and thickened into hollandaise sauce.
  6. Pour some sauce on each biscuit, top with some more crab, mushrooms, and a dash or two of five-spice powder. Serve.
Note:

To keep the food warm while poaching the eggs you can turn the oven on for 5-10 seconds and shut off. Put the plates in and keep the door closed in between steps.

The Gluttonous Geek

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